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Bienvenidos, amigos! So exotic and yet so close, Mexico is the ultimate getaway for fun, romance, and relaxation. With so many destinations to choose from, it can be hard to decide where to begin. However, the Pacific “vibe” of Baja is a call you have to answer.
Do keep in mind before beginning your Mexican vacation that travel requirements have changed and you will need a valid U.S. passport when crossing the border. Lead times for processing passports have lengthened considerably, so give yourself plenty of time to apply if you need a new visa.
Ok, let’s go. Tijuana is the beginning point for your Baja travels and Avenida Revolucion, or Revolution Avenue, is a great place to dive right in. This eight block area is packed with shops selling authentic Mexican crafts, jewelry, restaurants, and the city’s famous/infamous nightlife. The Tijuana Cultural Center chronicles the history of the Baja Peninsula and includes an IMAX Theater, not to mention a world-class orchestra hall.
Just south down Hwy 1 is another picturesque Baja getaway in the town of Rosarito. Naturally, the beaches are pristine and relaxing but Rosarito also offers visitors other activities including several quality golf courses to choose from. Fox Studios recently built the movie magic theme park Xploration here in conjunction with the enormous Fox Studios Baja, which, FYI, features the world’s largest water tanks, used for filming Titanic, among other motion pictures.
Further down Hwy 1, Ensenada is one of the more charming and varied communities along the Baja Coast, with sea, mountains, and desert all in close proximity. Whale watchers flock to Ensenada to see gray whales in the shallower waters and other species further out. (The whale season reaches its peak in February). The temperate valleys surrounding Ensenada boast several wineries offering tours and tasting. A different aspect of the local culture can (and should) be explored in the ruins of many 18th century adobe missions that dot the area.
And no Mexico trip would be complete without a visit to one of the premier party cities; Cabo Can Lucas. Within the city are a slew of nightclubs that beckon the tourist to enjoy the city’s night life. One of the more famous of these clubs is “Cabo Wabo.” Started by the great Sammy Hagar, “Cabo Wabo” hosts exciting bands, exotic drinks, and a party scene like no other. But Cabo San Lucas is more than just a night-life city. The city contains hundreds of pristine beaches, with glowing white sand, and crystal clear water. “Playa del Armor”, or “Lover’s Beach”, provides stunning snorkeling opportunities, and secret caves to explore. If you need to pick up a souvenir to remember your trip, stop by the Vitrofusion Glass Factory to see craftsmen make beautiful vases, plates, and bowls from recycled glass, and buy one of these works of art for yourself.
The unique coastal geography of San Quintin, our southernmost stop on this Hwy 1 tour, provides great opportunities for travelers with eco-interests. San Quintin’s coastline is comprised of several, interconnected bays that provide a unique and protected habitat for sea life of all kinds. Boating and fishing are popular here, and the protected bays also make for a resting area and breeding ground for flocks of migratory birds each season. Because of the protection afforded along much of the coastline, beaches here are less developed than in other areas of Baja.
Fortunately, the relaxing waves and warm sands remain.